Fix weird problem with Apache default encoding (AddDefaultCharset) not taking effect on FreeBSD with Apache version (2.0.63)

Tuesday, 23rd March 2010

I encountered a weird problems a couple of minutes before. I tried to put some text files written in UTF-8 which contain cyrillic in the file names as well as the content the files has in my Apache directory listing. Trying that produced a lot of “alien symbols” for both file names and file content.
I have to admit that wasn’t exactly what I expected. I’ve checked my /usr/local/etc/apache/httpd.conf just to find out I already have the:

AddDefaultCharset utf-8

within in the configuration, I thought that somehow Apache could have difficulties applying that rules for the custom Virtualhost and therefore give the directive a try locally in the VirtualHost. Grievously that didn’t produced any positive result. That’s why I decided to check if somebody has experienced the same weird behavior and I stumbled on this wondeful blog post .
In short on the plug and pray’s blog … Wait and moment plug and pray? Yes you read that correctly it’s plug and pray :), on that blog it’s explained that newer versions of Apache 2.2.4 as this is the version the blogger talks about as well as the latest Apache release has an issue with AddDefaultCharset not working anymore. Fortunately the issue with the AddDefaultCharset not taking effect in Apache no more is easily solved. All that needs to be done is including the:

IndexOptions Charset=UTF-8

Within Apache conf file. In my case on FreeBSD I had to include that in /usr/local/etc/apache2/httpd.conf after which all worked perfectly fine and I can see all my cyrillic symbols showing anew.

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